The Clover Club is one of the iconic greats of cocktail history. Born sometime in the late 19th Century, its first recorded appearance was at the Philadelphia’s Bellevue-Stratford hotel. It’s essentially a Gin Sour—gin, citrus, sweetener and egg white—with a touch of raspberry syrup to give it that signature crimson hue. Like many cocktails it waxed and waned in popularity over the decades, but its legacy was cemented by the opening of Brooklyn’s Clover Club in 2008. Founded by Julie Reiner, this swanky cocktail lounge with vintage aesthetics always has its namesake on the menu, but the bartenders here put a signature twist on it, deviating from the original recipe in a few key and interesting ways.
The drink starts the same as normal, with a few measures of London dry gin—even something as ubiquitous as Tanqueray or Beefeater works well here, as the boldness of their juniper profiles stand up well to the other ingredients. The first and biggest change, however, is the inclusion of dry vermouth. This adds an extra botanical depth to the drink, as well as a light salinity and savory notes. Then, instead of using the usual half ounce of raspberry-infused simple syrup, the recipe calls for a teaspoon of raspberry jam. This makes it simpler to prepare, especially if you have some leftover jam from breakfast or teatime in the fridge.
From there, the House-made Clover Club hews close to the original recipe, with lemon juice and egg white. It differs a bit though—rather than a whole egg white, which is normally around a half ounce (and can vary wildly), it calls for only a quarter ounce, just enough to give it its signature foamy top and smooth mouthfeel.
The end result is a drink that is unmistakably the Clover Club, and yet notably different. The pro move is to make a batch of both drinks and contrast and compare. You may find that you prefer the bar’s more savory take, or perhaps you better enjoy its sweeter, richer parent drink.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin (Tanqueray or Beefeater)
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon raspberry jam
- 1/4 ounce egg white
Add the gin, dry vermouth, lemon juice, raspberry jam and egg white to a shaker and dry shake (without ice) vigorously.
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a chilled Martini glass or coupe.
RAW EGG WARNING
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.